Bushcraft

One particular issue in the area of bushcraft with school students is that there is a great variety of ways of approaching the bush. Some students are used to camping based around the back of the car, with tents the size of buses and bonfires ablaze 24 hours a day, so ideas of quiet conservation are hard to understand. Students are given greatly conflicting advice. One helpful elder will say that it’s essential to dig a trench around a tent, a new-fashioned friend will describe a state-of-the art tent and say anyone would be insane trying to sleep out in anything less. As a leader of expeditions, a teacher must communicate quite clearly what is expected in terms of tents, fire, food, gear and so on, be able to give good explanations for any of the suggestions given, and be able to listen carefully to discussions from students as to their reasons for any belief. Ideas of conservation and safety must be foremost when discussing bushcraft. A brief list of issues that need to be discussed include: litter, damage of the environment, noise, fire behaviour, site selection, and hygiene. The great outdoors is a wonderful classroom— use it to do some teaching.